7 November 2006

Tecnaro launches composites for musical instruments

Arbophonic is aimed at wood replacement

Tecnaro, a specialist in injection mouldable wood plastic composites, has confirmed that it is targeting wind instruments, such as flutes and harmonicas, as well as accordions, with its newly named Arbophonic product range.

Tecnaro, a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Germany, says that its development, which started with the company’s spin-off from ICT in 1998 with its Arboform product, now addresses the search that has been going on for decades to find a substitute for wood that should also enable more cost-effective production.

The search has also resulted in the Musicon Valley project supported by the federal German education and research ministry BMBF. Musical instrument manufacturers Adler-Heinrich, C.A. Seydel and Harmona are among the nine companies and institutes in the Musicon Valley project, as is the injection moulder GEK in Oelsnitz.

Following 18 months of research and trials, Adler Heinrich says that its new flutes out of “liquid wood” can become a sales hit, as they are capable of being hygienically washed and show no signs of wear by chewing. New flutes in Arbophonic material will be launched by the company at the Musikmesse 2007 fair in Frankfurt am Main next March.

Gabriele Herberger, managing director of Harmona said: “Our accordions are composed of 3,000 to 4,000 parts, some with millimetre scale dimensions, that are made by hand over months. We have managed to make the complex vocal part in “liquid wood” after innumerable changes in the tool, at the injection moulding machine and in the raw material.”

(Cf. news of Dec. 21, 2005.)

Source: PRW Nov. 11, 2006.

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